The Long Toss: A Pitcher Will Benefit Tremendously From Long Tossing!

Many excellent baseball authorities believe that “long tossing” is simply the best way for a pitcher to increase his arm strength and increase velocity. Some go as far as saying it’s the only way. It’s a very simple baseball drill but it is critical that pitchers, coaches and baseball parents know how to do it properly!

The “long toss” is simply a throwing session where you start out fairly close to your throwing partner, then gradually increase the distance between the two of you. You finish the drill by then gradually decreasing the distance until you are back to the distance you originally started from.

Many very good authorities believe that the best way for a pitcher to build arm strength and increase the speed on the fastball is by making very good use of this fabulous drill. It is totally acceptable to take a couple of steps when long tossing.

You can approach it basically the same way as if you are trying to throw a runner out from the outfield. You don’t want to be throwing fly balls when long tossing. A trajectory that goes a little bit up and down is okay but try to keep it as low as possible. There are many variations and many variations as to how the long toss drill should be done. The following is strictly my way.

How To Properly Long Toss

First, be advised that you may have to work yourself up to the distances listed below and be patient until you can comfortably work up to these distances. Adjust distances downward for younger pitchers. Be extremely cautious with both the distances and the number of throws. This is not a competition of any type between you and your throwing partner and do not overexert yourself! You and your throwing partner should be sure to loosen up your arms before doing the drill.

Possible Distances When Long Tossing

60 feet apart–6 throws

90 feet apart–8 throws

120 feet apart–10 throws

150 feet apart–12 throws

120 feet–10 throws

90 feet apart–8 throws

60 feet apart–6 throws

PLEASE be very cautious and remember not to overexert yourself and find distances and number of throws that are comfortable for you! It’s your call here as to whether you want to increase or decrease the distances and number of throws but it’s much better to err on the side of caution. I would not recommend long tossing on two consecutive days and if you should have a somewhat serious long toss session, I would take two days off before long tossing again.

During the season, I would recommend long tossing only occasionally. Some pitchers don’t like to long toss at all during the season and love it in the off season. It’s going to come down to your personal preference as to how often you “long toss” and don’t overdo it.

Long Toss In “OFF” Season

In the off season, many pitchers use this drill every other day and gradually increase the repetitions to develop arm strength. Several outstanding professional pitchers have changed their off season throwing strategy and incorporated more “long toss” and less throwing from the mound. One M.L.B. pitcher actually gained 5 m.p.h. on his fast ball after increasing the amount of time spent on the drill and decreasing his throwing sessions from the mound. The drill has definitely grown in popularity the last several years.

Please remember this is not a competition between you and your throwing partner. Be very careful with the distances and the number of throws. We do the long toss to improve arm strength and not to get injured. If you are not long tossing, do yourself a huge favor and start immediately. Like we mentioned, some excellent baseball authorities believe it is simply the best was to build arm strength and gain velocity on the fast ball and some even go as far as saying it is the only way!

The benefits will be tremendous but remember to proceed with caution. I post a new FREE baseball article on hitting, pitching or fielding EVERY Monday at LarryBaseball.com. You may want to add my site to your favorites now. Baseball parents who want to help their child, as well as players and coaches will benefit by reading them. Feel free to share them to help other baseball people you know or to use the links for your website, blog or newsletter to attract more visitors or to keep your current visitors returning. I promise you will be raising a few eyebrows.

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